The first in vivo sodium and proton magnetic resonance (MR) images and localized spectra of rodents were attained using the wide bore (105 mm) high resolution 21.1-T magnet, built and operated at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (Tallahassee, FL, USA). Head images of normal mice (C57BL/6J) and Fisher rats (approximately 250 g) were acquired with custom designed radiofrequency probes at frequencies of 237/900 MHz for sodium and proton, respectively. Sodium MR imaging resolutions of approximately 0.125 microl for mouse and rat heads were achieved by using a 3D back-projection pulse sequence. A gain in SNR of approximately 3 for sodium and approximately 2 times for proton were found relative to corresponding MR images acquired at 9.4 T. 3D Fast Low Angle Shot (FLASH) proton mouse images (50x50x50 microm(3)) were acquired in 90 min and corresponding rat images (100x100x100 microm(3)) within a total time of 120 min. Both in vivo large rodent MR imaging and localized spectroscopy at the extremely high field of 21.1 T are feasible and demonstrate improved resolution and sensitivity valuable for structural and functional brain analysis.
Keywords: MRI; high magnetic field; in vivo rodent; localized spectroscopy; sodium.
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